A/N: Honestly, I don't even know how this happened. It started out as something completely different; a prologue to a story I was writing out of boredom and didn't really intend to post. Now it's uh… well, I don't really know what it is. But its here, so eh…
Disclaimer: Don't own. Wah.
There For Me
"Peter, what on Earth are you crying about?" James asked, though not unkindly. He sat down on the couch next to his friend who shamefully turned away. He rubbed his eyes briskly and murmured,
James pursed his lips. "It's obviously not nothing. Tell me what's bothering you. Was Malfoy giving you crap again? I'll punch him, if you want." Peter couldn't help but smile a little at this before shaking his head. He kept his body stubbornly turned away from his supportive friend.
"It's not Malfoy," he said quietly, "It's… Sirius…"
Now James paused. This was not the first time Sirius had succeeded in upsetting Peter, but he'd never seen it have such a drastic effect. Or perhaps it happened all the time and he just didn't notice. Remus had always been the more sensitive one when it came to that sort of thing. He regretted now not paying enough attention to Peter's feelings.
"What did he do?" he asked now, leaning in to look into Peter's eyes, "I can punch him too, you know. No trouble, you just have to ask."
Once again the small smile and once again he shook his head, "No, don't worry about it. It was just Sirius being Sirius… it's just… all of those things he said earlier…"
Now he knew what was troubling him. Earlier that day the boys had managed their first full-fledged animagus transformation, and they'd all been excited as to what they would turn out to be (animagus forms were said to reflect the witch or wizard's personality). And so, afterwards as they laughed and clapped themselves on the back, it was no wonder that a discussion on their forms had begun.
James had laughingly accepted Sirius's claims that he was a stag for his high-ego. Sirius had proudly remarked on his dog-shape: for loyalty. Then there was Peter… Peter the rat.
"Come on, Peter, we were just joking around," he insisted, forcing his voice to stay light, "I mean, do you honestly think I want to believe I'm a conceited stag?"
"No," Peter replied, "You're a stag because you're strong-willed and brave."
James was slightly taken aback. It was clear that Peter admired both he and Sirius, but never before had he come out and said it in so many words.
"And Sirius," he continued, his voice cracking slightly, "Sirius is a dog because he is loyal, and he'd defend his friends for anything…" He began to cry again, though was clearly trying not to. James tactfully pretended not to notice.
He exclaimed, "But think of all the cool stuff you can do as a rat, Peter! I mean, all the pranks we can accomplish… and I bet you could get into the girls' dormitory if you really wanted to," Peter's blush proved that he clearly didn't really want to. "Sirius will be so jealous. I mean, now that you can become so small you'll be absolutely pivotal to lots of things," he paused a moment before adding slyly, "And we'll have to trust you with an awful lot."
Peter had perked up during the last part of this speech and said sincerely, "You can trust me with anything, James, I swear it!"
"Peter, I'd trust you with my life if I had to," James said seriously.
Peter now grinned from ear to ear, "Really?"
James smiled at how such simple words could cheer his friend so much. "Really," he confirmed. "So don't worry about what Sirius says anymore. Where is he, anyway? We really should make plans if we're going to give Remus his 'surprise' tonight."
They both stood. Peter sniffed, and rubbed his eyes again, but only to dry them since he was through crying. He smiled at James, pure gratefulness and adoration pouring from his eyes. Once more, James felt regret for not appreciating him.
"The offer's still up, you know, if you want me to punch him…" he suggested as they headed towards the portrait hole. Peter laughed. He felt immensely more confident in himself now that he knew that James, the person he admired most, really trusted him.
"Thank you, but I think if the occasion ever calls for it I'll be the one inflicting the revenge."